An international bestseller with over two million copies sold, this is a story of an artist's desire for beauty and the ultimate corruption of ...Show synopsisAn international bestseller with over two million copies sold, this is a story of an artist's desire for beauty and the ultimate corruption of innocence. 17th Century Holland. When Griet becomes a maid in the household of Johannes Vermeer in the town of Delft, she thinks she knows her role: housework, laundry and the care of his six children. But as she becomes part of his world and his work, their growing intimacy spreads tension and deception in the ordered household and, as the scandal seeps out, into the town beyond. Tracy Chevalier's extraordinary historical novel on the corruption of innocence and the price of genius is a contemporary classic perfect for fans of Sarah Dunant and Philippa Gregory.Hide synopsis
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The cover of this book features 'Girl with a Pearl Earring', a famous work by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer (c 1665) and this book tells the story of the girl who is the subject of the painting.
Our story begins in 1664 when Griet, a teenager who lives with her parents and younger sister in Delft, is visited by a couple who wish to employ her as their maid. The husband is a famous painter who wishes Griet to clean his studio, along with other household duties. She is to start her new life the following day, so she must pack her few belongings and say her farewells to her family. Her father was a tile painter, but has lost his sight in an accident at work. Now he sees the world through the eyes of his elder daughter. Her brother had followed his father into the trade, and was studying away from home, which would leave only the younger sister at home once Griet moved out.
On arrival at her new place of work, Griet meets all the members of the family Vermeer, also the other domestic staff. Some are suspicious of her, and some are downright unpleasant to her, but she finds the occasional ally as she settles in. The painter requires meticulous cleaning of his studio, usually when he is absent on other business. Once in a while their paths cross, and after Griet overcomes her initial shyness, they slowly begin to talk. They gradually progress from discussing household matters to various aspects of his painting.
We discover the local people that Griet interacts with on a daily basis, also the people she befriends or who try to befriend her. Her work is hard and laborious and often gets her down, but she perseveres. Her life suddenly becomes more complicated when unwanted attention from a visitor sparks a chain of events which will rock the household to its foundations.
A well crafted historical tale, and a very enjoyable read.
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